Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
PG&E Customers Brace for 'Painful Increases' to Bills After Rate Decision
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 7 months ago on
September 14, 2023

Share

SACRAMENTO — Power bills for about 16 million PG&E customers will likely increase after state regulators released two rate proposals for one of the nation’s largest utilities Wednesday.

The California Public Utilities Commission is finishing up its once-every-four-years review of the utility that provides electric and gas service to a 70,000-square-mile area in the central and northern parts of the state. The commission must approve how much PG&E can charge customers and how it will spend that money.

The commission on Wednesday could not say what the increase would be for the average residential customer. But it is likely to be far less than what PG&E had initially requested — the company had asked for rate increases large enough to boost its revenue by 26%, but the two proposals the commission released would increase revenue by a maximum of 13%.

PG&E had asked for more revenue in part to pay for a plan to bury about 2,100 miles of power lines to help prevent wildfires. Burying powerlines is expensive and takes a long time to complete. But PG&E has argued it is the best way to essentially eliminate the risk of strong winds knocking down power lines and starting wildfires, like the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 85 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Insulate Power Lines or Bury Them?

The Utility Reform Network, which advocates on behalf of ratepayers, has argued that a faster and cheaper way to reduce wildfire risk is to insulate power lines instead of burying them.

It appears the commission agrees. Both of its proposals would approve rate increases sufficient to bury less than 1,000 miles of lines.

Still, “both proposed decisions adopt substantial and painful increases to monthly bills, far beyond the cost of inflation, which (we believe) should be a cap for bill increases,” said Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Network.

One proposal, written by administration law judges, would increase PG&E’s revenue by 13%. The other one, from John Reynolds, the PUC commissioner assigned to the case, would increase the company’s revenue by 9%. The commission is scheduled to consider them during its Nov. 2 meeting.

PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo said the company is reviewing the proposals and its own proposal “continues the transformation of our energy system to further reduce wildfire risk, improve safety and climate resilience and support continued growth of clean energy.”

The issue of PG&E’s rates has been pending for more than two years.

A decision was delayed last year after the company made two changes to its initial application, first to request the bury the power lines and later to increase its rate request because of inflation and taxes.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

DON'T MISS

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

DON'T MISS

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

UP NEXT

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

UP NEXT

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

UP NEXT

Fresno Fire and Police Ramp up Probe Into Fires at Cemeteries

UP NEXT

Paris Hilton Backs California Bill to Bring More Transparency to Youth Treatment Facilities

UP NEXT

Ex-Marine Gets 9 Years in Prison for Firebombing California Planned Parenthood Clinic

UP NEXT

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

UP NEXT

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

UP NEXT

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

UP NEXT

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

UP NEXT

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

4 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

4 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

4 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

5 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

5 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

5 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

5 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

5 hours ago

Fresno Fire and Police Ramp up Probe Into Fires at Cemeteries

5 hours ago

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

5 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

A proposal to levy a fixed charge on customers of California’s big investor-owned utilities will harm low-income households, further l...

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

3 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
3 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
4 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

4 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

4 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

Breaking News /
5 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

5 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend